Teaching three classes and a slew of writing (the fruits of which I’ll post directly) have kept me from posting this week.
As usual there’s too much political chicanery for me to comment on — from the numbing certainty that the Democrats will nominate Hilary Clinton as their candidate for POTUS to the idiocy of the blather regarding the appearance of Ahmadinejad at Columbia University, and the expedient manner in which its president tried to please our own homegrown mullahs, the Norman Podhoretzes and Hugh Hewitts, with prefatory remarks that subverted his hospitality. This is when I turn to Orwell to clear my head, and, as usual, his antidote is bitter but effective. From a review of paleocon Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom, which has rarely been collected and should be more widely circulated:
Capitalism leads to dole queues, the scramble for markets, and war. Collectivism leads to concentration camps, leader worship, and war. There is no way out of this unless a planned economy can be somehow combined with the freedom of the intellect, which can only happen if the concept of right and wrong is restored to politics.
If the polarity outlined by the first two sentences seems anachronistic to everyone except Larry Kudlow, a quick glance at any major newspaper reporting on Madame Clinton’s new national health care initiative (and GOP resistance thereto), and the anxiety generated by the now settled strike by United Auto Workers should settle the matter.
The real twist is in the last sentence, which is straightforward enough to please a wimpy Philistine like William Bennett. When was the last time a public intellectual lamented the decay of the concept of right and wrong? This is common sense purged of cant.